Don't Put Your Real Estate Agent In The Position Of Dealing With These Negotiation Mistakes

Posted on: 19 January 2017

One of the ways that your real estate agent earns his or her money is by negotiating on your behalf. Whether you're buying or selling a home, having this experienced negotiator on your side will be valuable. However, you need to remember that your agent is taking his or her cues from you and won't take a particular negotiation approach without running it past you first. You can put your agent in a potentially problematic position when you make these critical mistakes.

Not Giving An Answer In Time

Generally, your agent will be negotiating back and forth with the agent who represents the other party. When one side presents an offer, the ball is in the other side's court. You'll make your agent's position challenging if you don't provide a response in a timely manner. For example, if you're selling your home and your agent is given a counteroffer by the buyer agent, it's your turn to advise your agent whether you accept the offer or whether you wish to counter it. If you don't get back to the agent in time, he or she will sheepishly have to tell the buyer agent that he or she is still awaiting your response.

Telling The Agent To "Get A Better Deal"

It's important to remember that your agent acts as an intermediary and cannot influence how the other side proceeds. For example, if you're looking to buy a home and the listing price is $425,000, perhaps you wish to submit a low offer of $380,000. If the seller reacts with a counter that doesn't have much flexibility, such as $417,500, you might say to your agent, "That's too high. Get a better deal for us." Your agent can't tell the other side how to handle its negotiation, so you'll put the agent in a challenging spot.

Negotiating In Poor Faith

There are several ways that one can negotiate in poor faith, and this approach typically puts the agent in a difficult position. For example, if you're selling your home and receive a low-ball offer, you might wish to counter with an offer that is a bit of a slap in the face to the prospective buyer — for example, offering at your original listing price. This doesn't give much room for negotiation, of course, and the agent will sheepishly have to relay this message to the buyer agent. It's always a good idea to consult your agent before you make a decision, and he or she can indicate whether you're proceeding properly.